Saturday, August 9, 2008

Budget 'priorities'

posted by Free Press Houston @ 12:42 PM

This is where your tax dollars go folks..


At August 10, 2008 at 12:40 AM , Anonymous ryan said...

you know, you can't even take a survey on something if you have family involved in the business that it affects. but here we are with a president whose family is in the weapon & oil businesses and we're spending $691 billion a year on defense and $140/barrel on oil. what a bunch of saps we are.

At August 10, 2008 at 7:02 AM , Blogger Ramon Medina - LP4 said...

Actually "This is where your Tax Dollars go to" is a bit disingenuous as you are only looking at Discretionary Spending which is the Majority of the Defense Budget. Of course, given a source with an agenda (and I'm not saying it's a bad agenda), naturally they will pick the most shocking figure but even they go on to explain that there is also discretionary spending which includes social services. So if you follow that trail, when you look at the overall proposed budget, defense drops to about %15 of total outlays and Social Security, Medicaire, and Medicaid come out to about %45. (See Table S-11 here)

The more proper thing to have said though would be that this is where the majority of you INCOME tax goes as non-discretionary spending largely comes from payroll taxes and people's income tax generally goes to discretionary spending.

While I agree the war in Iraq has been from the beginning a huge waste of resources (not to mention lives) and that both the Democrats and the Republicans have to answer to that, it's important to keep discussions fair and not just show a piece of the pie or, if you choose to do so, to be very careful in explaining that pie in relation to the whole.

In short, you should do a bit more than just coping and linking a press release.

At August 10, 2008 at 7:11 AM , Blogger Ramon Medina - LP4 said...

Oh that reminds me of a funny story from university.

This woman did this presentation on South Africa is a speech class(her boy-friend was from there) where she raved about South Africa. So I followed up with one comparing the civil rights history in the US to that of South Africa. The woman came up to me afterwards in tears and humiliated saying "I can't believe you did that. I mean here I had my little presentation and you do that! You go out there with..." then she pauses looking for the word and blurts out "FACTS!"

At August 10, 2008 at 8:33 AM , Anonymous omar said...

Ramon- Your really splitting hairs but income tax would be correct. We could split hairs even furthers and say that the social security/fica we pay is not a 'tax' but an investment. Either way, the amount spent of war is ridiculously disproportionate..dig?

At August 10, 2008 at 9:15 AM , Blogger Ramon Medina - LP4 said...

The war is, like I said, a huge waste of resources and lives. That's not my issue. What you call splitting hairs I consider keeping the discussion accurate. I don't care if it is an agenda I agree with or not. People are smart and should be given a full picture.

The it's "not a 'tax' but an investment" thing though could be used by anyone who buys into the war; arguably any tax is an investment.

In the end if both sides of any debate played their cards straight our country would be in a much better place now. Instead what we have is a politics of spin which is exactly why I abhor politics.

But let me take this one step further - the argument of dollars spent on a war or the military as a cold fact is a bad one. Because the question shouldn't be how much we are spending but why we are spending it. In this case, the why suggests such a boondoggle on every level that no amount of money, small or large, could justify it. In short, I think there is more validity to arguing for or against a war from a moral perspective than an economic one.

At August 10, 2008 at 11:09 AM , Anonymous omar again said...

I agree with you on the premise, but the point is not 'how much we are spending on war'..the point is how little we are spending on everything else. This is less a condemnation of the military-idustrial complex as it is an indictment of how little we spend on education, science, etc...

But the splitting hairs on your part is still there homie. An investment like social security is a mechanism you can tangibly get your dollars back in your hands. Even more in some cases. But a 'tax' has a fundamentally different function. We could pull up websters definitions but that would be no fun. However, at the end of the day, I made no analysis of this illustration. I simply left it up to readers to deduce conclusions. Your is telling. Nonetheless, i will concede that it would much more accurate on my part to say 'most of your tax dollars' as opposed to 'your tax dollars.' Further, the minutia you point out errs on the 'too much military spending' side of the arguement. Either way you slice it, war is the baked potato and everything else are sourcream and onions. Maybe a pizza metaphor would work better? Tabouli? Nah..Gumbo..maybe...Help me out here..


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